In Key Stage 3 we cover components from both ICT and Computer Science. Students are given opportunities to learn about how computer systems work, how to use software to develop solutions and use a variety of programming languages to develop games and programs.
The course is mostly practical with students working through given problems to create a solution. In the ICT components students will learn about computer systems including hardware and software and develop their solutions with software such as spreadsheeting, work processing and presentation packages. In the Computer Science components students will learn to code with programmes such as Scratch, Small Basic and Python. They will learn to develop websites using HTML and CSS.
Students are guided through the units and encouraged to employ a growth mindset when developing solutions. They are encouraged to develop solutions, find errors and create deliverable products.
KS4 Computer Science
An education in Computer Science equips students to use computational thinking and creativity. Computer Science has links with mathematics, science and design and technology. Computer Science students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to use this knowledge through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computer Science allows for students to become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workforce and as active participants in a digital world.
Students work through two components simultaneously. Component 1 is Computer Systems which includes understanding computer systems, networking and the social and ethical use of computers. Component 2 is computational thinking, programming and algorithms. Students solve problems with programming and create deliverable products. There are two exams worth 50% each – one exam for each component. Students need to complete a programming project to demonstrate their programming skills.
Students are encouraged to practice and complete their programming skills both at school and home. All programmes used are available on-line. The school uses an online resource to supplement student learning. There will be weekly homework for a task.
Cambridge National in Information Technologies improves students’ knowledge of the digital environment and their confidence with IT. They learn about data management issues and develop practical skills by planning and creating an integrated technological solution to communicate information.
Data Manipulation and Project Management are vital skills for success in employment and higher education and are among the key transferable skills required by employers. Cambridge National in Information Technologies develops students understanding of these skills through the development of creative products to solve real world data problems.
The qualification in made up of two units. Students study the units simultaneously to develop deliverable products.
R012 includes understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions which includes knowledge of hardware and software applications, data manipulation tools and techniques, Project Life Cycle – phases, interaction, inputs and outputs and risks, legal moral, ethical and security issues.
R013 includes developing technological solutions, focusing on the use of skills to develop a creative technological solution to a real world problem and following the project life cycle to demonstrate skills such as SWOT analysis, GANTT charts, data collection and presenting data and using hardware and software to create an integrated technological solution for data processing and communication of information.
There is one written exam (R012) which lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes. The exam assesses a student’s understanding of tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions. The coursework unit (R013) will be a set assignment that assesses a student’s ability to develop a technical solution to a real world problem. Students complete both theory and practical work.